Math Training

Filling the Gaps in Math Through Meaningful Instruction

This is a 2 part, self-paced training, through Google Classroom. All needed materials and links are provided through a hyperdoc for each training, and you are welcome to print the slides presentation to add your own notes to during the training.

Day 1: Identify and Understand the Mathematics and Assessing Students

We will begin by looking at the common learning gaps we see in our math students, and the underlying causes for these gaps. We will build a stronger understanding of the 8 Standards of Mathematical Practices, and take a closer look at our eligible standards for math, including looking closely at curriculum maps. Teachers will explore the common performance traits and learning characteristics of our struggling learners, as well as curriculum factors that impede their learning, and ways to overcome these barriers. We will take time to focus on assessments we can use to identify our struggling learners' needs, with the most emphasis on formative assessments used to adjust their instruction.

  • Common Gaps and Causes
  • Identifying & Understanding the Mathematics
  • Mathematical Process Standards
  • 8 Standards of Mathematics
  • Math Strands/Standards
  • Covering Curriculum
  • Common Performance Traits of Struggling Learners
  • Learning Characteristics of Struggling Learners
  • Curriculum Factors in Struggling Learners
  • Overcoming Barriers
  • Assessment Overview
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Day 2: Plan and Implement Responsive Instruction & Best Practices

Following a quick review from day one's training, participants will explore a variety of technology based formative assessments to use with their students to drive instruction. After discussing the importance of motivating students, we will move through the key components of an explicitly designed lesson plan. Embedded throughout the lesson plan will be time for teacher reflection of their own teaching strategies, and focusing on 11 of the Essential Instructional Approaches for Struggling Learners. Day 2 will be concluded with more focus on learning gaps in our struggling learners, and activities and resources that could be used to help close these gaps.

  • Formative Assessments (in the classroom and virtual)
  • Motivating Students
  • Explicit Instruction Lesson Plan
  • 11 Essential Learning Instructional Approaches for Struggling Learners in Mathematics
  • Strategies and Approaches to Help Fill the Gaps

Explicit Lesson Plan

  • Clearly stated, measurable objectives
  • Motivate the learners
  • Explicit instruction of new material
  • Guided practice
  • Independent Practice
  • Lesson Closure

11 Essential Learning Instructional Approaches for Struggling Learner

  • Teach Systematically
  • Situate Mathematics within Meaningful Contexts That Help Students to Develop Abstract Reasoning
  • Develop and Explicitly Share Learning Intentions
  • Teach Students To Be Strategic In Their Approach To Mathematics
  • Utilize Visuals
  • Provide Many Response Opportunities with Feedback
  • Utilize Different Appropriate Grouping Structures
  • Teach the Language of Mathematics Through Vocabulary Development and Discourse
  • Teach Mathematical Fluency
  • Emphasize Use of the 8 Mathematical Practices
  • Make Instructional Decisions That Are Student Centered & Based on Meaningful Data

Day 3: Best Practices and Solving Word Problems

While this training was developed as the third part to the 2 day training from Filling the Gaps in Math Through Meaningful Instruction, it can also be completed without participating in the first two trainings. There are two different trainings listed below, and the only difference is how the training starts. After a quick review of days 1 and 2, participants will look at teaching word problems through the Mathematical Framework and varying levels of cognitive demands. Helping students tackle word problems can be difficult, and this training will share strategies to help students solve these different tasks. There will be time spent looking at 3 ACT Tasks, strategies and techniques for solving word problems, and then applying these skills when solving open ended tasks like students would see on the PSSA. If you did not participate in the first two trainings, you can still participate in this training successfully. Instead of a review of days 1 and 2, this training will begin by looking at the needs of struggling learners, and the 8 Standards of Mathematical Practice.

  • 8 Standards of Mathematical Practices
  • Learning Gaps in Struggling Learners
  • Characteristics of Struggling Learners
  • 3 ACT Tasks
  • Tackling Open Ended Word Problems
  • Transitioning to PSSA Open Ended Questions
  • Scoring Open Ended and PSSA Tips

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Contact Information

For more information, or questions about the training, please contact Lacie Cook, Curriculum Specialist at ARIN IU28. You can reach her via email,, or call 724-463-5300, Ext. 1247.